Forbes’ list of America’s fastest-growing cities in 2017 included 6 Florida metropolitan areas in the top 10. Actually, 5 of the top 6 cities on the list were Floridian. However, the most interesting part of the article for business owners in Florida was that Southwest Florida ranks #1 with Cape Coral-Fort Myers and North Port, Sarasota, Bradenton taking the #6 spots.
Cape Coral-Fort Myers Is Number One
The number one fastest growing area in the nation of Cape Coral-Fort Myers held the top rank for population growth in 2016 with 3.39%. The projected growth for 2017 was 3.61%, which would rank Cape Coral-Fort Myers number one again. Interestingly, these numbers are not just retirement age population growth either. A study from Curbed.com ranks the Cape Coral Area as the number 7 city in the country with growth in millennial population. It has grown by 11.7% since 2010. For the area job growth, Cape Coral-Fort Myers was ranked number 5 with 3.93%. However, the projected numbers for 2017 with an increase to 3.83% would put it in the number one spot.
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North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton Is Ranked Number Six
For the North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton metro areas, they earned the overall #6 place in the nation. Their population growth and home price growth were the most notable. In 2016, the area saw a 2.67% increase, which ranked it number 3 in the country. The projected growth for 2017 was 2.59%, which would bring them to the number 5 rank. Home price growth was 11.97% in 2016 and is projected to have been 8.09% in 2017. Both of those numbers rank in the 4th position nationwide for 2016 & 2017. With real estate values growing year after year, business values are expected to follow suit.
What This Growth Means For Businesses
The fact that Southwest Florida is the fastest-growing area in the country means that great things are on the horizon for business owners here. With population growth comes the demand for services, restaurants, housing, retail shopping and jobs. Consequently, for business owners, population growth means a steady flow of new customers to the area. Furthermore, it gives more opportunities for new businesses to open, in order to serve all of these customers who have recently relocated. Also, as construction continues to boom, new businesses will be required to serve those areas that are newly developed. Additionally, the development of these areas serves as an opportunity for existing businesses to expand or new businesses to pop up.
How Business Owners Can Use This Growth To Their Advantage
Business owners who leverage this population growth to their advantage certainly stand to expand along with it. Capturing new customers as they move to the area is key. Competing for existing customers is harder because there may be switching costs, and existing businesses have greater information about their customers' preferences. Additionally, these new customers don’t have relationships with existing businesses and they aren’t tied into contracts either. Therefore, targeting any marketing to potential customers who have recently moved to the area is a smart move in these growing regions. These population increases will also mean more candidates for any job openings employers may have available, especially because a big influx to the area is the millennial generation.
Population growth, job growth, and housing price increases are all signs of a heathy economy. Businesses thrive in these conditions. The smart business owner is the one who recognizes the opportunities and capitalizes on them.
See the complete list of America’s fastest-growing cities in 2017 HERE.